Tell me if this ever happened to you as a kid: Everyone has the hot new backpack or binder (or if you’re old enough, Trapper-Keeper) and you come home to find you grabbed someone else’s on the way home, and they grabbed yours. Maybe you made the switch back the next day, no problem. Or maybe that favorite book or CD you swore you’d put in there never made it back home, or the wicked little monster who took your bag just decided to say he never saw it at all, and you never get it back (if my grade-school nemesis is reading this, he knows what he did!)
Anyone who’s lived out this pre-adolescent spy games scenario understands the value of customizing one’s stuff. It’s much harder to take the wrong item if yours is decorated according to your taste. And while some of us had parents who went a bit too far and wrote our names on our underwear (never losing your underoos just isn’t worth the mockery), marking one’s possessions is a good way for a child to keep possession of them and to assert their identity, independence, and property.
Defining what we own is a big part of establishing our identity. Letting your kids claim what is theirs helps them create a sense of independence and selfhood. The goal is not to teach children to hoard their possessions — sharing is as important as owning — but to spread their sense of autonomy and control over the things they value. But while writing our names on everything we own is one way to do this, custom decorations are a safer, more fun alternative.
A child with their name or nickname clearly printed on their clothing or possessions can fall prey to a predator reading and using that name to create familiarity. Rather than risk your kids’ safety by loudly announcing their name to passersby, encourage them to decorate and customize things they value in ways they will recognize. Personalized symbols, characters, and logos can create that sense of ownership and identity without giving away personal information to strangers.
Heavy subjects like identity, property, and safety out of the way, customizing your stuff is just a blast. From drawing in our notebook margins to putting playing cards in our bike spokes to bedazzling our phone cases, kids of all ages love to decorate and personalize their possessions. Safe, fun, healthy play that teaches self-expression, it’s a good way to add new layers of enjoyment and memory to the items we treasure. Many adults still keep even run-of-the-mill childhood items they personalized as children — pencil boxes covered with stickers, backpacks festooned with patches — when such items were made on the cheap to be thrown away after a school year.
One of the best ways for kids to personalize their stuff is with custom holographic stickers. Kids can create their own designs to really put their style and flair into how they decorate their prize possessions. Just the act of creating the stickers is a project all its own, and putting one’s original creation on one’s stuff is more interesting, memorable, and distinctive than just buying stickers or decorations off the rack. The hologram effect only makes each design more memorable and encourages kids to keep track of their bedecked items. And it doesn’t hurt a bit that an original design can mark a kid’s property as distinctly theirs without announcing their name to passing randos.
Any item can go from a toy or tool to a beloved personal keepsake with the right decorations, and a sticker does that job easily: just peel and paste. Tablets, phones, musical instruments, sports gear, headphones, and more can all become assertions of self and much harder to lose track of with something as easy to apply and fun to create as a custom holographic sticker.